It's been a few years since we started up our decentralized community agricultural program, the "Peach Tree Project". The name doesn't do justice to the variety of the plants or skills we share, but it does embody the image of a community in growth and that's kind of the point.
The idea behind the Peach Tree Project is pretty simple. Each year we get people interested in gardening to help us germinate hundreds of fruit & vegetable seedlings - plants like peach trees, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, etc... We collect various containers to hold our newly germinated plants and once they've grown a few inches, or feet (depending on the plant), we share them with the community.
So, at any of the Long Island Food Not Bombs locations you'll find nearly a dozen tables sharing thousands of pounds of fresh foods, clothing, books, etc... and, in the spring and summer months we'll often have an extra table sharing these germinated plants.
In the few years we've been doing this we've shared hundreds of seedlings. The basic understanding is that anyone can take a few of these plants to grow some of their own food. We also ask people to bring any extra fruits & veggies that these seedlings produce back to our food shares - in essence, continuing a cycle of free food.
The idea is that Jim will bring his extra string beans to his local food share and at the same time he might be able to pickup some of Mary's extra tomatoes, or Benders extra eggplants. Basically, it's decentralized agricultural solidarity and it works!
Each week, folks who have a little extra to share stop by with their homegrown produce. Some people grow this food in their gardens, some people grow it on fire escapes or in windowsills, some in empty lots; really, wherever there is sun and access to water.
Part of the idea behind the Peach Tree Project is that every seedling we share comes with its own pot so anyone that's interested in participating can do so regardless of his or her access to open land.
We also help teach the best ways to grow various plants and we focus on sharing low-maintenance seedlings (you can find a guide on growing low-maintenance plants in the zine section of our website). These can be plants that are easy to grow in our climate or in someone's apartments. It's important to focus on plants that produce a good volume of nutritious food. The idea is to share seedlings that take the least amount of time to cultivate while producing large healthy yields.
The Peach Tree Project creates another way people can contribute to Food Not Bombs and it creates new connections between people who share their gardening knowledge.
So with all this said, if you're in the Long Island/NYC metro area, and you're interested in participating in community agricultural solidarity, we invite you to join us in our endeavors.
Do you have any extra plants in your garden you'd like to share? Is your garden going great and you'd like to share some extra produce you've grown? Would you like to help us grow seedlings to share? Would you like to share your gardening knowledge with others in the community? - If your answer is yes to any of these questions please join us at any of our local food shares ( http://www.lifnb.com/food_shares), or contact us (information below) to learn more about how you can get involved.
If you're not from the Long Island/NYC metro area and you're interested in starting your own Peach Tree Project we can help you along the way; again, just contact us (information listed below). It's all pretty easy and this program is a great addition to any Food Not Bombs chapter.
Thanks for reading. In Solidarity,
JonSTeps & Long Island Food Not Bombs.
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